Arts & EntertainmentMusic

The International Songwriting Competition Reveals 2015 Finalists

All-star judges panel will review entries in 22 categories
by Bradley Donalson

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has been recognizing outstanding songwriters since 2002. Founded and directed by Candace Avery, this competition takes entries from around the globe and puts them before a panel of judges that include artists like Bastille, Sarah McLachlan, Casting Crowns, Sara Evans, Newsboys, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.), as well as a multitude of music-industry insiders, including the presidents, vice-presidents, and CEOs of multiple major record labels. According to Avery, “Our mission is to create opportunities for artists and make a significant impact on their careers by recognizing their talent on an international scale.”

Over the course of last year, the listening committee has narrowed down the 18,000 entries from 118 different countries around the globe. The 345 finalists are from diverse regions ranging from Ireland to Australia, Namibia to Norway. Texas can boast of nine finalists from around our great state in the categories of Blues, Children’s Music, Country (x3), Gospel/Christian, Music Video, and Teen (x2). The judges will select a first-, second-, and third-place entry for each category, as well as a grand prize for the entire competition. ISC awards $150,000 in cash and prizes with the grand prize being $25,000 cash and over $40,000 in prizes. There is also the People’s Voice Award. This is not given out by the judges, but voted on by the public. You can listen to the finalists and cast your votes at Learn more about ISC, view a full list of judges and categories, and submit a song for their 2015 competition at


Woody Russell (Austin) – “That’s Just the Way My Wheels Roll” in Blues

Timothy Randell Karber (Madisonville) – “The Belly Button Song” in Children’s Music

Jessica Clemmons, Victoria Banks, Jeff Cohen (Highlands) – “If You Can’t Be Mine” in Country

Bonnie Pine, Dean Dillon, Casey Beathard (Dallas) – “Stuck” in Country

Billy Dawson, Rivers Rutherford, Glenn Rutherford (Sunray) – “Twenty Once (Too)” in Country

Jared Wood, Max Corwin (Frisco) – “Forevermore” in Gospel/Christian Music

Colin Huntley (Georgetown) – “Best I Never Had” in Music Video (Director: Nayip Ramos)

Victoria Celestine (Blanco) – “Wasted Tears” in Teen

Colin Huntley (Georgetown) – “Wings” in Teen


Bradley Donalson

Bradley Donalson is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.
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